Along with the rains, a collective effort from Lake Development Authority (LDA) and residents of Koramangala and HSR Layout has brought Agara Lake back to life. The 95-acre lake, which was in danger of running dry in the summer this year, has filled up with water and is surrounded by greenery.
Ensuring that this does not become a haven for anti-social elements again, security personnel have been stationed. Now, residents enjoy morning and evening walks on the 5 km path around the lake unlike before.
"Earlier, there were people who would consume alcohol, gamble and create a racket. Some transgenders too would frequent the premises to carry out illegal activities and there were people who used the space as a toilet. Now, with the security personnel stationed, all these elements have been avoided," says S R Nagaraj, executive engineer, LDA.
A long way to go
Although the lake brims with water, sewage from storm water drains continually finds its way onto the lake bund and into the lake, claim sources in the LDA. "While some of the residents are actively involved in the 'Save Agara Lake' campaign, others often dump garbage or litter the area. You can't see it now due to the green cover that has come up, thanks to the rains. There is still much room for improvement," say the sources.
Nagaraj, however chooses to disagree, saying that a wetland has been created to ensure that the plants 'break up the phosphates and nitrates which largely constitute bio waste'. "So the water that enters the lake is clean," he adds.
Plans for the future
LDA wants to revive the lake and hand it over to the residents and NGOs. "As residents of the area, if they have custody, they will take interest and ensure that it is well maintained like the Hebbal, Nagawara and Vengaiahanakere lakes," says Nagaraj, adding however, that LDA will continue to execute the maintenance activities. "It's hard for us to get the work done, so imagine how much harder it will be for them," he adds.
Apparently, Bangalore Water and Sewerage Supply Board (BWSSB) has promised LDA that the sewage will be redirected through the underground drainage system to ensure that only rainwater flows into the lake. "The board has promised that this will be done by the end of 2014," Nagaraj tells City Express. In addition, post the monsoon, LDA, along with the residents, plan to clear the lake bund of weeds.